Program Overview


The linguistics program at the University of Kentucky is an interdepartmental program bringing together faculty from a range of departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. The core faculty members come from the departments of English, Hispanic Studies, Modern and Classical Languages, and Philosophy. Faculty research and teaching interests cover a wide range of languages and theoretical approaches, and include the fields of phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, language planning and policy, and teaching English as a second language.

We offer both undergraduate and graduate degrees in Linguistics. In addition to their work in Linguistics, undergraduate students are encouraged to pursue a minor or double-major in one of the foreign languages, or a related area such as anthropology, computer science, psychology, or sociology. The English department also offers a related Masters degree: MA in English with concentration in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL).


Related Departments


UK’s Linguistics Program was founded in the early 1970s by Jean Pival (English), John Rea (French), and Tom Olshewsky (Philosophy), on whose vision of establishing a program in modern linguistics in the Commonwealth we have never ceased to build; over the years, numerous talented people have contributed to the growth and success of this program, including Susan Belmore (Psychology), Andy Hofling (Anthropology), Tom Hudak, Janine Scancarelli (both English), and Sharon Shelly (French), among many others. At present, the Linguistics Program has both a larger faculty and a more extensive curriculum than ever before. We look forward to expanding our degree programs in the near future, as we move toward department status.

Mission & Values

In our teaching, we work to provide our students with an excellent understanding of the multifaceted field of linguistics and of its goals and methods. In our research, we strive, as members of the international linguistic community, to contribute actively and insightfully to the scientific study of natural language.

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